Revenge. Redemption. Opportunity.

Those are the buzz words at Maryland this week. The Terrapins play host to North Carolina Saturday in the game the Terrapins have been waiting for all season.

It is also a key game in the Atlantic Coast Conference title race and the Terps may never have a better chance to beat a top-20 team.

Carolina Coach Dick Crum probably best summed up the feeling in College Park. "This is Maryland's annual hate week," he said yesterday. "I think that's the approach they take every year."

The ninth-ranked Tar Heels (6-1) are hurting in several ways. Their pride was wounded Saturday when South Carolina ended their chances for a national championship with a 31-13 victory.

Adding injury to insult, several key players were hurt in that game and are questionable starters Saturday. Among them are quarterback Rod Elkins, all-America linebacker Rod Nicholson, tailback Tyrone Anthony and leading tackler Lee Shaffer. Anthony, who has a pulled groin muscle, was playing only because Kelvin Bryant was hurt three weeks ago.

Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne isn't interested in listening to the litany of North Carolina injuries. "You watch," he said yesterday. "When the whistle blows, they'll probably all be out there."

Carolina beat Maryland, 17-3, last year. When someone asked Claiborne how important revenge was, he said, "Revenge has nothing to do with this at all. Revenge is bush league. We don't play the game like that. This is college football; we don't talk about revenge."

Still, these teams don't like each other, the coaches don't particularly like each other and there is no team Maryland would rather beat. Behind their coach's back, the Terrapin players have talked constantly of North Carolina for the last two weeks while preparing physically, if not mentally, for relative lightweights Wake Forest and Duke.

Saturday, before the Terps' 24-21 victory over Duke, Claiborne admonished several players for admitting publicly that much of their thought was directed toward the Tar Heels, not the Blue Devils.

There is good reason to think about Carolina. The Terps were beaten soundly last year in a physical game marked by lots of verbal exchanges, by a blatant late hit by Carolina's Lawrence Taylor on quarterback Mike Tice late in the game and by tailback Charlie Wysocki's three fumbles.

Claiborne and Crum staged a lively postgame argument at midfield after a dispute during the week over an exchange of game films. The coaching feud dates back to 1979 when Crum accused the Maryland timekeeper of letting the last second run off the clock when it should have been stopped at the end of the Terps' 17-14 victory here.

Naturally, Claiborne is trying to play down past feuding.

"Last year has nothing to do with this year," he said. "We're just going out and practice this week like we do every week. This is a big game; every conference game is a big game."

Claiborne knows well that his team can make up for many of the early disappointments in this 3-3-1 season with a victory over Carolina. He also knows his team has an opportunity this week to put itself in command in the conference race. Maryland and Clemson are 3-0 in ACC play, Carolina 2-0 and the Tar Heels play Clemson next week in Chapel Hill.

Maryland has not won an ACC title since 1976. This is the first Maryland team since 1974 that does not include a player who took part in winning a conference championship. That is why offensive lineman Dave Pacella probably spoke for the whole team when the subject of Carolina's loss came up.

"I was pretty surprised when I heard they lost," he said. "But that doesn't mean this game means any less. They're still a great team and there is still an awful lot riding on the game."

"Whatever happens Saturday, we're still going to have three more games to play," Claiborne cautioned. g Maryland Needs No Pep Talk --For Showdown With Carolina --By John Feinstein Washington Post Staff Writer

Revenge. Redemption. Opportunity.

Those are the buzz words at Maryland this week. The Terrapins play host to North Carolina Saturday in the game the Terrapins have been waiting for all season.

It is also a key game in the Atlantic Coast Conference title race and the Terps may never have a better chance to beat a top-20 team.

Carolina Coach Dick Crum probably best summed up the feeling in College Park. "This is Maryland's annual hate week," he said yesterday. "I think that's the approach they take every year."

The ninth-ranked Tar Heels (6-1) are hurting in several ways. Their pride was wounded Saturday when South Carolina ended their chances for a national championship with a 31-13 victory.

Adding injury to insult, several key players were hurt in that game and are questionable starters Saturday. Among them are quarterback Rod Elkins, all-America linebacker Rod Nicholson, tailback Tyrone Anthony and leading tackler Lee Shaffer. Anthony, who has a pulled groin muscle, was playing only because Kelvin Bryant was hurt three weeks ago.

Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne isn't interested in listening to the litany of North Carolina injuries. "You watch," he said yesterday. "When the whistle blows, they'll probably all be out there."

Carolina beat Maryland, 17-3, last year. When someone asked Claiborne how important revenge was, he said, "Revenge has nothing to do with this at all. Revenge is bush league. We don't play the game like that. This is college football; we don't talk about revenge."

Still, these teams don't like each other, the coaches don't particularly like each other and there is no team Maryland would rather beat. Behind their coach's back, the Terrapin players have talked constantly of North Carolina for the last two weeks while preparing physically, if not mentally, for relative lightweights Wake Forest and Duke.

Saturday, before the Terps' 24-21 victory over Duke, Claiborne admonished several players for admitting publicly that much of their thought was directed toward the Tar Heels, not the Blue Devils.

There is good reason to think about Carolina. The Terps were beaten soundly last year in a physical game marked by lots of verbal exchanges, by a blatant late hit by Carolina's Lawrence Taylor on quarterback Mike Tice late in the game and by tailback Charlie Wysocki's three fumbles.

Claiborne and Crum staged a lively postgame argument at midfield after a dispute during the week over an exchange of game films. The coaching feud dates back to 1979 when Crum accused the Maryland timekeeper of letting the last second run off the clock when it should have been stopped at the end of the Terps' 17-14 victory here.

Naturally, Claiborne is trying to play down past feuding.

"Last year has nothing to do with this year," he said. "We're just going out and practice this week like we do every week. This is a big game; every conference game is a big game."

Claiborne knows well that his team can make up for many of the early disappointments in this 3-3-1 season with a victory over Carolina. He also knows his team has an opportunity this week to put itself in command in the conference race. Maryland and Clemson are 3-0 in ACC play, Carolina 2-0 and the Tar Heels play Clemson next week in Chapel Hill.

Maryland has not won an ACC title since 1976. This is the first Maryland team since 1974 that does not include a player who took part in winning a conference championship. That is why offensive lineman Dave Pacella probably spoke for the whole team when the subject of Carolina's loss came up.

"I was pretty surprised when I heard they lost," he said. "But that doesn't mean this game means any less. They're still a great team and there is still an awful lot riding on the game."

"Whatever happens Saturday, we're still going to have three more games to play," Claiborne cautioned. "We're just glad to be back even, back at .500. That was our first goal."

The setup could not be better for Maryland. The Terps have pointed to this game for weeks, while the Tar Heels must be careful not to look ahead to Clemson. And Claiborne says his team is "about as healthy as we have been in a long time."

The Terps are playing at home and they are playing a team that will try to run the ball. Carolina is averaging 443 yards a game, 298 on the ground. Maryland leads the conference by a wide margin in rushing defense but is last, also by a wide margin, in pass defense.

The players can finally talk about the team that is on their mind and not worry about facing an angry coach. Each of them knows what Saturday's game provides: opportunity, redemption and revenge.

Starting quarterback Boomer Esiason did not practice Monday, but worked out lightly yesterday. His ankle, injured on an extra-point attempt, is still sore but he should play Saturday . . . Defensive lineman Mark Duda, who missed the second half Saturday, told Claiborne Monday that he felt better than on any Monday since the second week of the season . . . One North Carolina player, safety Billy Jackson, is definitely out, with a badly sprained ankle . . . The Terps are 8-7-1 overall since last year's loss in Chapel Hill. They played four top-20 opponents in 1980, losing all four games by an average margin of 18 points . . . Carolina, playing a very weak schedule, leads the nation in scoring, averaging 38.7 points per game . . . The game is nowhere near a sellout. The expected attendance was listed yesterday as "in excess of 35,000." "We're just glad to be back even, back at .500. That was our first goal."

The setup could not be better for Maryland. The Terps have pointed to this game for weeks, while the Tar Heels must be careful not to look ahead to Clemson. And Claiborne says his team is "about as healthy as we have been in a long time."

The Terps are playing at home and they are playing a team that will try to run the ball. Carolina is averaging 443 yards a game, 298 on the ground. Maryland leads the conference by a wide margin in rushing defense but is last, also by a wide margin, in pass defense.

The players can finally talk about the team that is on their mind and not worry about facing an angry coach. Each of them knows what Saturday's game provides: opportunity, redemption and revenge.

Starting quarterback Boomer Esiason did not practice Monday, but worked out lightly yesterday. His ankle, injured on an extra-point attempt, is still sore but he should play Saturday . . . Defensive lineman Mark Duda, who missed the second half Saturday, told Claiborne Monday that he felt better than on any Monday since the second week of the season . . . One North Carolina player, safety Billy Jackson, is definitely out, with a badly sprained ankle . . . The Terps are 8-7-1 overall since last year's loss in Chapel Hill. They played four top-20 opponents in 1980, losing all four games by an average margin of 18 points . . . Carolina, playing a very weak schedule, leads the nation in scoring, averaging 38.7 points per game . . . The game is nowhere near a sellout. The expected attendance was listed yesterday as "in excess of 35,000."